The importance of getting your yearly mammogram

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HARTFORD — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You might have noticed thing across the state turning pink! Monday, Dr. Ron Kimmel, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer at Saint Francis HealthCare Partners joined FOX 61’s Good Day Connecticut to talk about the importance of mammograms and breast cancer awareness.

This month, Saint Francis HealthCare Partners, Saint Francis Hospital and Radiology Associates collaborated to send 3,000 women a reminder that they had not had a mammogram in over a year. To make it more convenient, they are offering screening mammograms at three locations: Comprehensive Women’s Health Center at Saint Francis, and two Radiology Associates Of Hartford sites in Enfield and Glastonbury.

There are even evening and Saturday appointments available! Appointments can be made by phone or online here. At the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center at Saint Francis you will get the results of your screening mammogram on the same day.

“We want to reach these women and others to help prevent disease,” Dr. Kimmel said. “Women often take care of everyone else first and leave their own health issues until the last minute. Breast cancer awareness and education is so important because when we can detect a cancer earlier by mammogram rather than waiting until there’s a lump, generally the patient needs less treatment. There is a lot of fear and anxiety around getting a mammogram, but the whole purpose is to detect something early when it’s more treatable.”

Saint Francis HealthCare Partners follows the National Cancer Institute guidelines and recommend annual screening beginning at age 40. Screening mammography is the only breast imaging to date that has consistently been shown to lower risk of mortality. Mammography can pick up a cancer anywhere from 1-4 years before it would felt on exam.

What can you do on your own?

  • Learn about your family health history and talk to your doctor about your personal risk for breast cancer
  • Get screened!
  • Know how your breasts feel and know what normal is. If you notice breast changes, speak up and tell your health care provider.

Why is it so important? 

  • 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer.
  • In Connecticut, there about 3,000 new cases of breast cancer each year, and about 550 deaths annually – the highest incidence of breast cancer in the United States.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, behind lung cancer.
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